Carlsbad is a weekend destination for food lovers - Carlsbad restaurants serve American classics, innovative dishes and everything in between. After a morning of exploration, have a casual lunch where you will get to sample superb seafood, sushi, Mexican food or burgers. End the day with a romantic celebration at one of the elegant restaurants serving Californian, fine French or Italian dishes.

1. TWENTY/20


Boasting picturesque views of the coastline from the cliff top of Carlsbad’s highest point, TWENTY/20 is the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa’s signature restaurant and offers a delightful, romantic dining experience. The stylish restaurant features several seating options, from an upscale dining room and covered outdoor terrace to an intimate bar and elegant lounge with custom-designed fire and water features that create a comfortable ambiance.

Executive Chef Julian Quinones presents a menu of farm-to-coast cuisine inspired by the fresh flavors of the California coast and made with organic and locally sourced ingredients for breakfast, lunch and dinner. From starters and flatbreads to delectable main courses that include pan roasted salmon and pork Osso Bucco, a wide range of dishes cater to every taste.

Wine lovers can choose from more than 100 selections by the bottle and 30 wines by the glass from an extensive wine list featuring vintages from around the world, as well as a selection of barrel-aged cocktails and margaritas.

5480 Grand Pacific Drive, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-827-2500

2. Paon Restaurant and Wine Bar

Paon Restaurant and Wine Bar
© Paon Restaurant and Wine Bar

Paon Restaurant serves fine French cuisine with California influences in an elegant Art Deco-style setting. Soft lighting, tones of cream and gold and beautiful artworks set the scene for an intimate dining experience and knowledgeable and attentive staff caters to every need.

Paon's menu features seasonal, locally grown, organic produce for the palates of gourmands and food lovers, with dishes such as Traditional French Escargot Bourguignon in garlic butter, Veal Sweet Breads in a black truffle sauce, Seared Rare Hawaiian Yellowfin Tuna served with Truffle Vinaigrette and Sun Choke Purée, and Pan Roasted Pheasant served with Vegetable Truffle Risotto in a Madeira Sauce.

A stylish lounge and relaxing outdoor patio are ideal spots for enjoying a pre-dinner cocktail or post-dinner drink from the extensive wine list, and a private dining room is available for special occasions or large group gatherings.

2975 Roosevelt St, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-729-7377

More romantic places to visit in California: Things to Do in Santa Monica

3. Beach Plum Kitchen

Beach Plum Kitchen
© Beach Plum Kitchen

Beach Plum Kitchen is a breakfast and lunch restaurant that serves organic fare made from locally and regionally sourced ingredients in a contemporary and casual setting. Meals include a range of egg plates and omelets, such as New York steak and eggs and Carnitas and Eggs, while the griddle produces delights such as pancakes, waffles, and French toast.

Healthier options include muesli and yogurt, homemade granola, quinoa and coconut porridge and smoked salmon bagels. The lunch boasts an array of sandwiches, burritos, burgers and lobster rolls, as well as salads and specials of clam chowder, chicken and bean chili and pork belly hash.

Plaza Paseo Real, 6971 El Camino Real #201, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-931-1362

More Vacation ideas: Best Things to Do in Kansas City.

4. Blue Ocean Robata & Sushi Bar

Blue Ocean Robata & Sushi Bar
© Blue Ocean Robata & Sushi Bar

Fusing the fresh flavors of the ocean with traditions of the past, Blue Ocean Robata & Sushi Bar offers diners an unparalleled seafood experience. Featuring a traditional robata grill, a cooking style that originated centuries ago when Japanese fishermen needed a way to cook on their boats, Blue Ocean presents a menu of fresh seafood and sushi, signature cocktails, craft beers, wine, and spirits. Starters include salt and pepper calamari, crispy soft shell crab and chilled oysters.

The robata grill presents hot plates of salmon steak, grilled octopus, miso-glazed black cod, and five-spice duck tacos. Fresh, made-to-order sushi and sashimi can be enjoyed at the sushi bar while a special three-course set menu features soups and salad, assorted sashimi, fish and vegetable stir-fry.

2958 Madison Street, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-434-4959

Fun destinations: Arizona Resorts & Vacations.

5. Carlsbad restaurants: Chandler's

Carlsbad restaurants: Chandler's
© Chandler's

Chandler’s is an elegant restaurant located on Cape Rey that serves delicious simply prepared food in a relaxed California coastal-style ambiance. Boasting a stylish West Coast theme with casual indoor and outdoor dining spaces, the seasonal menu features ‘New American’ cuisine made from fresh locally sourced ingredients, seafood, and farm produce. Diners can enjoy a range of food from full American and continental breakfasts to fresh salads, soups and sandwiches for lunch and succulent steaks, salmon, chicken and swordfish for dinner.

The menu is complemented by an excellent selection of wines, outstanding service, and spectacular ocean views.

1 Ponto Road, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-683-5500

More places to visit: 15 Best Things to Do in Asheville, NC

6. Miguel's Cocina

Miguel's Cocina
© Miguel's Cocina

Miguel’s Cocina is a haven for Mexican food and is home to some of the most authentic Mexican flavors north of the border. Opened in 1982 through a love of traditional regional cooking, Miguel’s menu captures the true spirit of Mexico with classics such as sizzling sirloin fajitas, Sonoran grilled swordfish tacos and spicy, rich chicken mole, as well as artisan cuisine of fresh salsa, handmade tortillas, and decadent jalapeño white sauce.

Vibrant décor and signature friendly service accompany the enticing menu which ca be enjoyed at six locations all around the country, including on Avenida Encinas in Carlsbad.

5980 Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-759-1843 (website)

Day trip ideas: Things to Do in Palm Springs.

7. Romantic Carlsbad Restaurants: The Seafood & Steakhouse

Romantic Carlsbad Restaurants: The Seafood & Steakhouse
© The Seafood & Steakhouse

Boasting breath-taking views of the Pacific Ocean and an Old World Italian elegance, The Seafood & Steakhouse is part of the Vigilucci’s Group, serving certified prime steaks and fresh seafood alongside an award-winning wine list.

The decadent private dining room is spacious and light with an elegant charm while tones of cream and beige and crisply set tables present an air of tranquility. The aesthetic appeal is continued in the menu with starters of gourmet antipasti platters, Primi Piatti of fresh salads and Secondi Piatti of pistachio-herb crusted New Zealand rack of lamb, seafood cioppino, and sesame-crusted sashimi grade seared ahi tuna. Dolce offers Italian-inspired desserts such as tiramisu and gourmet gelato while the notable wine list presents wines from Italy, California and other countries renowned for their superb wines.

3878 Carlsbad, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-434-2580

8. Carlsbad Restaurants: Board and Brew

Carlsbad Restaurants: Board and Brew
© Board and Brew

Board & Brew serves a simple, straightforward menu of quality sandwiches and craft beer, made from fresh local ingredients and served by friendly, welcoming staff. Boasting a relaxed, beach atmosphere and casual, laid-back ambiance, Board & Brew presents a menu of delicious sandwiches with toppings such as tuna, pastrami, chicken, turkey breast and fresh vegetables, homemade soups and salads, and specials from the grill.

A range of craft beer is available to accompany the food and Board & Brew’s menu can be enjoyed on site or ordered online.

Bressi: 2675 Gateway Road, Bressi Ranch, Carlsbad, CA 92009, Phone: 760-929-2739; Village: 201 Oak Avenue, Carlsbad Village, CA 92008, Phone: 760-434-4466

More restaurants: 15 Must-Try Lunch & Dessert Spots in San Diego.

9. The Naked Cafe

The Naked Cafe
© The Naked Cafe

The Naked Café is all about healthy food and eating and serves a menu of simple cuisine created from whole foods and incredible flavors. Balancing wholesome grains and powerful herbs and spices with fresh, locally sourced ingredients, environmentally conscious and globally influenced dishes are inspired from foods around the world, such as coconut French toast, homemade pancakes, quesadillas, wraps and tacos, salads, soups, and sandwiches.

A range of beverages is on offer, from 100% organic Fair Trade coffee, teas, smoothies, and freshly squeezed juices, to local beers and champagne cocktails.

300 Carlsbad Village Drive, Suite 107A, Carlsbad, California, Phone: 760-720-7866

Romantic California: Things to Do in Oakland, Things to Do in San Diego

10. Cicciotti's Tratoria Italiano & Seafood

Cicciotti's Tratoria Italiano & Seafood
© Cicciotti's Tratoria Italiano & Seafood

Cicciotti’s Tratoria Italiano is conveniently located in the heart of Carlsbad Village, at the corner of Grand and Roosevelt. A popular dining and meeting place for Carlsbad locals and visitors, the tratoria offers authentic modern Italian cuisine served in a contemporary setting with both indoor and outdoor dining areas, ideal for a date night dinner. The extensive menu starts off with a good selection of appetizers, including their signature meatballs served with Marinara Sauce. Appetizers are followed by some excellent salads, a wide choice of delicious pasta dishes and meat, chicken and fish entrees. They also serve mouth-watering pizzas, risottos and calzone. Needless to say, they also offer some great wines to accompany your meal.

Cicciotti’s Tratoria Italiano, 595 Grand Avenue, Carlsbad, CA 92008, 760 994 0553

You are reading "18 Best Romantic Carlsbad, CA Restaurants" Back to Top

11. Bob's Steak and Chop House

Bob's Steak and Chop House
© Bob's Steak and Chop House

Meat-loving couples need look no further than Bob’s Steak and Chop House for their next romantic night out. Ever since the first Bob’s Steak House opened in Dallas Texas in 1993, the restaurant has built up a solid reputation for serving only the finest beef cuts in the land, accompanied by their famous Texas-size side dishes. Prime cuts of meat deserve to be accompanied by a superior wine, and Bob’s offers a wide selection of fine wines served by the glass. The setting is warm and inviting, offering the perfect ambiance for a romantic dinner. Although the emphasis is firmly on great red meat, there is also a selection of seafood dishes and vegetarian sides and salads.

Bob’s Steak and Chop House, 2100 Costa Del Mar Road, Carlsbad, CA 92008, 760 929 6346

12. Dini's Bistro

Dini's Bistro
© Dini's Bistro

Dini’s Bistro offers couples the ultimate sunset backdrop to set the stage for a memorable romantic night out. Dini’s is a classic American Bar and Grill, where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner overlooking the ocean. They also host a happy hour which is perfect for catching an early sunset in spring and fall. Appetizer favorites include fresh oysters on the half-shell, perfectly cooked fresh scallops and delicious crab cakes. There are entrée choices for vegetarians and vegans, a good selection of salads and some delicious thin-crust pizzas. Carnivores will surely find the burgers and rib-eye steak to their liking.

Dini’s Bistro, 3290 Carlsbad Blvd, Carlsbad, CA 92008, 760 434 6000

13. Jejune et Jolie

Jejune et Jolie
© filirovska/

A bright and warm interior ushers guests into the indoor dining area of Jeune et Jolie, where you will be offered a fabulous modern taste of France presented in a four-course fine-dining menu, with or without a curated wine pairing. On a fine evening, there is also the chance to enjoy a romantic alfresco dinner on the terrace. The 4-course menu offers a choice of beautifully prepared seasonal amuse-bouché, appetizers, entrees and desserts for a set price. If you prefer a more casual option you can order individual items from their a la carte menu at the bar. In addition to an extensive wine list, you may also choose from a selection of French liquors like Absinthe, Pastis and hand-crafted cocktails.

2659 State Street, Suite 102, Carlsbad, CA 92008, 760 637 5266

14. 264 Fresco

264 Fresco
© 264 Fresco

264 Fresco is a great place to visit for a romantic dinner date. The restaurant boasts a bright and welcoming interior, enhanced by floor-to-ceiling windows and large mirrors and there is also a deck for alfresco dining. The menu presents you with a good selection of modern Italian dishes featuring tempting appetizers like Roaster Artichokes and Eggplant Parmigiana. These are followed by a selection of salads, pizzas, pastas and mouth-watering entrees including their Braised Short Rib with Gnocci and Wild Mushrooms and a decadent Lobster Risotto. You can round off your romantic dinner with a delicious Panna Cotta, Tiramisu or Cannoli.

264 Fresco, 264 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008, 760 720 3737

15. The Green Dragon Tavern and Museum

The Green Dragon Tavern and Museum
© Green Dragon Tavern and Museum

Inspired by the famous Green Dragon Tavern in Boston, where the American Revolution was plotted and planned, Carlsbad’s Green Dragon Tavern and Museum offers a unique venue for a romantic night out. The historic building contains a treasure trove of early American history which you are invited to check out (for free) while you wait for your dinner to be served. The large and varied menu offers something for all tastes; you can start off with a delicious appetizer, soup or salad before moving on to the hearty entrees. There are several choices for vegetarians and vegans as well as gluten-free pizzas, mouthwatering meat and seafood dishes and fabulous desserts.

The Green Dragon Tavern and Museum, 6115 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA 92011, 760 918 2421

16. Campfire


Inspired by the beauty and bounty of the Great Californian Outdoors, Campfire endeavors to capture the essence of a traditional camping meal in each and every dish they serve. Most of the cooking is done over a fire to ensure authentic flavors and aromas. The light and airy interior offers the ideal ambiance for a romantic date night dinner and the menu has plenty of options to suit all tastes. You can start off with one of their interesting appetizers which include warmed oysters, grilled prawns and wagyu skewers, before ordering your favorite seafood or meat cooked on the open fire. Needless to say, s’mores features on the dessert menu.

Campfire, 2725 State Street, Carlsbad, CA 92008, 760 637 5121

17. Casa de Bandini

Casa de Bandini
© Casa de Bandini

When the fresh and healthy flavors of Mexico are all you can think of, Casa de Bandini is the place to go in Carlsbad. The warm and welcoming atmosphere of the restaurant provides the ideal backdrop to your romantic night out and you can expect to feast on authentic Mexican flavors, delicious hand-crafted Margaritas and freshly grilled homemade tortillas. Many of the dishes are perfect for sharing - just of few of the most popular sharing plates include their Nachos Supremos, Tostado Trio and Muchisimos Taquitos. Special healthy dining options include the citrus Ceviche, Tacos de Pescado Tropicales and the flavor-filled Chicken and Black Bean Tostada.

Casa de Bandini, 1901 Calle Barcelona, Carlsbad, CA 92009, 760 634 3443

18. Vigilucci’s Cucina Italiana

Vigilucci’s Cucina Italiana
© Vigilucci’s Cucina Italiana

Vigilucci’s elegant interior perfectly sets the scene for a romantic dinner in the heart of downtown Carlsbad. There is an outdoor terrace and an indoor bar where you can enjoy a drink before you sit down to order a classic Italian dinner. You can choose from a selection of delicious appetizers including Oven Roasted Artichokes, Carpaccio de Manzo (thinly sliced raw beef fillet dressed with olive oil, arugula and capers and the house antipasti for two. These are followed by a selection of salads and a large variety of delicious home-make pasta creations. They also serve irresistible entrees including veal escalope, Ossobuco, and fresh fish of the day.

Vigilucci’s Cucina Italiana, 2943 State Street, Carlsbad, CA 92008, 760 434 2500

What are the 18 Best Romantic Carlsbad, CA Restaurants?

The 18 Best Romantic Carlsbad, CA Restaurants according to local experts are:

Attraction Spotlight: LEGOLAND California Resort

Situated just north of San Diego in Carlsbad, LEGOLAND® California Resort is a family-friendly themed play park with over 60 interactive attractions, rides, and shows for visitors of all ages. LEGOLAND® is also home to SEA LIFE® Aquarium and the LEGOLAND® Water Park – the first such park in the world. There is also a hotel at the resort that offers comfortable overnight accommodation and delicious cuisine.

LEGOLAND® Water Park

LEGOLAND® California Resort is the first LEGOLAND® resort in the world to feature a water park. Located next to the buildings in Fun Town, the Water Park features a variety of water-based activities and adventures, including Build-A-Raft, DUPLO Splash Safari, Imagination Station, Joker Soaker, Orange Rush, Pirate Reef, Splash Out, Soak-n-Sail, Twin Chasers, and Splash Zoo. The Chima Water Park features several adventures such as Cragger’s Swamp, Crooler’s Twist, Crug’s Run, Eglor’s Build-a-Boat, and the Lion Temple Wave Pool.

SEA LIFE® Aquarium

The SEA LIFE® Aquarium is an interactive aquarium and marine park that offers visitors an interactive guide to the life of the sea. The Aquarium features interactive and hands-on learning activities, adventures, up-close encounters with sea creatures and a variety of fascinating educational talks.

Explorer Island

Explorer Island is a dinosaur-themed exploration area of the park which features a large sand pit where children can ‘dig’ for fossils, a Gerstlauer-built mini steel roller coaster, and a replica of the LEGOLAND Deutschland roller coaster ‘Drachenjagd.’

Heartlake City

Based on the LEGO Friends brand, LEGOLAND®’s Heartlake City features a ‘Friends Forever Stage’ where visitors can perform music shows, the Heartlake Water Fountain, a play area known as Heartlake Stables and ‘Mia’s Riding Camp.’

Miniland USA

Miniland USA is a miniature park that features a 1:20 scale model that features significant architecture and symbols from seven areas in the United States, built from more than 20 million LEGO bricks. Miniland USA also has a Model Shop, the primary design and building office for Legoland's US parks where visitors can watch master builders at work on new models.

Castle Hill and Fun Town

Castle Hill is a medieval-themed area within the LEGOLAND® California Resort that features a miniature golf course, and Fun Town is an interactive role-playing area where visitors can simulate a variety of different professional identities or adult skills.

Pirate Shores

Visitors can have water-based fun on six water-oriented attractions and rides at the Pirate Shores splash park. Attractions and adventures include Splash Battle, Soak-N-Sail, Treasure Falls, Swabbie's Deck, Captain Cranky's Challenge, and Pirate Reef, a ‘shoot the chutes’ attraction with water cannons, a splash bridge, and a brick building play area.

Land of Adventure

Designed to replicate Egypt in the 1920s, Land of Adventure features a range of attractions that take visitors back to the land of Pharaohs such as Pharaoh's Revenge, Beetle Bounce, Cargo Ace, Dune Raiders, and Lost Kingdom Adventure.

Imagination Zone

The Imagination Zone features a variety of activities where visitors have to use their imagination, including Maniac Challenge, where guests play LEGO PC games, and a Wild Mouse-style roller coaster called the Technic Coaster-Test Track. Other attractions include Build 'n Test, where kids can race Leg cars, Mindstorms, Maniac Challenge, Aquazone Wave Racers, and Bionicle Blaster.

LEGOLAND® Park Hotel

LEGOLAND® California Resort features a LEGO® themed hotel with 250 themed rooms based on the popular LEGO lines such as Adventure, Kingdom, Pirate, and LEGO Friends. The hotel offers comfortable family-friendly accommodations, several restaurants with a variety of cuisine, interactive LEGO features and modern amenities and nightly children's entertainment.

Visitor Information

LEGOLAND® California Resort is located at 1 Legoland Drive in Carlsbad. Fifteen restaurants and diners around the resort offer a variety of cuisine from burgers to pizza, and strollers and wheelchairs can be rented for guests with babies, small children, and disabilities.

1 Legoland Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008, Phone: 877-376-5346

You are reading "18 Best Romantic Carlsbad, CA Restaurants " Back to Top